To battle back from two goals down and earn a point away from home against our Lancashire rivals Preston North End firmly underlines the character we have within the camp.
I thought we did enough to come back into the game and win it, and we can consider ourselves unfortunate not to have maintained our 100% record away from home.
Over 4,000 travelling Wanderers fans made the short trip and were magnificent throughout the game. Your support – home and away – helps and inspires the players.
We now go into the international break in sixth position of the table – and I’m pretty sure we would have all settled for that before the season kicked off.
I have to say that this transfer window has perhaps been one of the more challenging ones in my experience.
Strikers are a prized commodity and it is obvious to see why managers and owners are reluctant to sell them.
To gauge the state of the market you only need to look at some of the Premier League teams who have loaned players to Championship sides. The kinds of wages they are commanding, reportedly in the region of £40,000 to £80,000 a week and the huge fees clubs are paying, are quite frankly mind blowing and perfectly illustrate the challenges we are facing and the ever increasing competitiveness at the higher end of the table.
We worked very hard on three deals leading up to the loan window closing on Friday which would have given the manager plenty of options up front.
That said, we managed to bring in the manager’s prime target in Christian Doidge, whom we are absolutely delighted in welcoming to the University of Bolton Stadium.
We were very close with two other forwards, Liam Boyce of Burton Albion and Derby County’s David Nugent, and we will definitely seek out options again for January.
We had a deal agreed with Derby for Nugent but he ultimately decided that he wanted to fight for his place there. While Burton decided that they wanted Boyce to remain with them despite our placing of a seven-figure bid.
The recruitment of Christian brings our total number of senior new arrivals at the club this summer to 16, which has improved the overall quality of the squad and given the manager more options when selecting a team.
Christian was very highly valued at Forest Green Rovers, which is easy to see why considering his prolific strike rate. He was on the manager’s and recruitment team’s radar for quite a long time and it was a case of sheer persistence on our part to get the deal over the line ahead of the 5pm deadline. I am sure all our fans will welcome him to the club.
I’d also like to wish Connor Hall every success with his loan spell at our Lancashire neighbours Accrington Stanley. As the manager has said, Connor has outgrown under 23s football and he will definitely benefit from league football as part of his ongoing education. We will be closely watching his progress at Stanley.
We now have the break going into the weekend ahead of the international fixtures which gives the players an opportunity to take a short, well-earned rest from competitive action but you can rest assured that they will be working hard to continue the excellent progress they have made going into the fixture against QPR on Saturday 15 September at the University of Bolton Stadium.
I’d just like to take this opportunity to remind you that season tickets remain available and are still the most cost effective way of watching Wanderers on a match by match basis this season. The lads are working hard to progress in the Championship and it would be great if we could increase our crowd numbers to help increase our vociferous support on home soil. Click here for more information.
I look forward to seeing you all back at the University of Bolton Stadium in a couple of weeks’ time.